Alexandria – The long-term US$730M investment by Hutchison Ports and the Egyptian Government in a new container port near Alexandria marks yet another milestone in Africa’s growing role in the container trade. Located inside the Abu Qir naval base, the greenfield project aims to capitalise on Egypt’s growing export cargoes.
With a draft of 18 m, the world-class terminal will be capable of handling mega-vessels and ultimately 2M TEU off a total quay length of 1,200 m, according to Hutchison Ports group managing director Eric Ip. Hutchison has negotiated a concession period of 38 years. Construction is expected to start in 2022.
The new terminal will, however, be chasing Tanger Med, the leading container port in Africa. In 2019, the port handled 4.8M containers, up a staggering 38% on the previous year and comfortably ahead of its nearest competitor, Egypt’s Port Said with 3.86M containers. While opening a second terminal in 2019 helped boost traffic, it is a telling statement about the boom in African container trade that in 2019 Tanger Med overtook the ports of Colon in Panama, Seattle and Savannah in the USA, Felixstowe in the UK, Santos in Brazil, Mundra in India and Vancouver in Canada.
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